Taking a guess at which guys make the American Idol Season 15 Top 24 (NO SPOILERS)
Prognosticating American Idol isn’t an easy task. Singing isn’t like playing sports. In basketball you can tell who’s better by looking at statistics. There are no singing stats. There’s just ears and musical tastes and how me or you or any other American Idol viewers feels about one contestant the judges and producers of American Idol might feel different.
Then you add the fact Idol is trying to put together a lineup of the 24 performers who will draw the most eyes to television. That means you can’t have 12 WGWGs or 12 girls who play piano even if they might be the best of the best. You need variety.
I try to take this all into account. Take a glimpse at past contestants and you can get into the producers’ heads a little. We’ve only seen, by my count, 79 of the 190 contestants sing a note, so trying to figure out who the top 24 will be is even more difficult.
On top of that, the Top 24 is already in the bag. Two people I would have placed in there aren’t on the list because I’ve been Tweeted spoilers that I really didn’t want to see. Another contestant I put in the Top 24 is there because another blog threw up a “Spoilers” warning on a tweeted link but didn’t think to take the contestant’s name out of the title. Idiots.
There will be no spoilers in this list. This is me just putting my extensive American Idol knowledge to the test. I can say this – picking the guys was much easier than picking the girls. The guys are very top heavy; my list of potential candidates was limited to 16. I had 22 girls.
Now the 24 (it’s actually 22; I’ll explain later) I’m picking aren’t necessarily who I’d like to see get through. I actually cut a lot of people I’m hoping will advance. I just didn’t add them for a variety of reasons, not wanting to jinx them being the main one.
Breaking this down into two sections. Below are the guys. You can read the girls by clicking this link..
1) Adam Lasher
Saying he is going to win Season 15 isn’t hyperbole; with what he showed last year and the new look this year, he’s a perfect contestant. He’s got the right sound and he’s going to get the same votes that Nick Fradiani did last year. It’s not a coincidence that this WGWG got the boot last year while the other two big WGWGs that made the Top 24 – Fradiani and Mark Andrew – were both in their last year of eligibility. He was sacrificed for the good of the show and I’ll be producers are hoping it pays off.
2) MacKenzie Bourg
He’s got the experience – performed on one of those other singing shows that I refuse to name – has the look and the sound. If there’s a young vote out there, he’s going to draw it. He’s on the short list of people who can win Season 15, but that’s really going to come down to how much he and the next contestant split votes.
3) Tommy Stringfellow
Don’t think you could create a more perfect contestant for the show. It might just be the high, floppy hair but he’s got that 1950s’ bad boy look that makes chicks lose their GD minds. The fact he’s not fronting a big-time boy band right now makes no sense to me and based on the young Idols we’ve had the last couple years, I’d say he’s got a Top 24 spot in the bag.
4) James XIII
I’m not saying I would put him here, but I have a very good feeling about this. Hoping to learn more as Hollywood Week comes.
WHERE CAN I BET ON THEM?
5) Dalton Rapattoni
You don’t accidentally look like 1994 Billie Joe Armstrong, sound like a emo superstar and have that style and not make the Top 24. The kid already has a big following, a bigger professionally history and let’s be honest – it would be a huge mistake not to include him. I’d put him in the “lock” category, but I could see him walking the carpet with someone who plays a similar genre we haven’t seen yet. I’d throw a few units on him making it though.
6) CJ Johnson
He’s got too much experience not to make it. The sound is there and the look is too plus it’s painfully obvious he’s got Keith Urban deep in his corner. The only thing that worries me is those guys who play tons of gigs don’t always do great with Idol’s format. They get caught up in what they want to play and do something weird in Hollywood and boom, gonzo. I like my chances with CJ, plus he played Yacht Rock and I think we’re gonna be best friends.
7) Trent Harmon
There has to be a Southern heartthrob and it should be Trent. I think he’s a country music guy but he played some crazy R&B at his audition that had J-Lo going bananas so who knows, but he seems like he plays a perfect part for the show.
8) Andrew Nazarbekian
Every year one of the guys that makes the Top 24 is some dude who’s just a straight-up white guy vocalist that you completely forgot about and I think this year it’s Andrew. Dude is pretty AF and his voice was probably the best we heard among the guys. The Russian thing gives him a little bit of an edge, but I can see him not making it in favor of some other white pop guy or a black R&B singer, because we don’t have one of those.
9) Zach Person
Unless we see some serious R&B guys soon, the guys Top 12 is going to be whiter than the Oscar nominations and you can’t have 12 white dudes up there. It just won’t fly. That’s no saying Zach is an affirmative action pick; just saying if producers want to have a Southern rock/blues guy, they might as well take Zach because he saves their ass from looking bad and he can actually play. If he’s in, that means I don’t see Elvie Shane or Ethan Kuntz getting in and Lee Jean probably has his chances hurt as well.
10) Kory Wheeler
Remember when I said I wasn’t letting personal bias’ get in the way? Oops. Kory is the definition of hipster, from the wing-tips to the skinny jeans to the plaid shirts and finishing right up with that hipster hair that I wish I could grow but #baldlife. Why do I think he fits? Well, this is going to sound crazy, but Idol loves sneaking Top 24s into montages when they don’t have enough time to show their entire audition. Kory was in a montage with Shevonne something or other and Lauren Wright. Lauren is crazy talented but, spoiler, I don’t think she gets in because the girls’ country singers are 1992 Dream Team stacked. That means Kory is in and gets to be the hipster for Season 15.
11) John Wayne Shulz
There’s going to be a pure country singer. There’s a solid chance we haven’t seen him yet but the Shulz’ story – trying out years ago right before his mother passed – is too good to pass up. Add the fact he’s got that super hunky country vibe it seems like an easy choice to get female viewership up. Really a shot in the dark here by me, but you can’t go with all chalk picks and expect to win.
THE LAST SPOT
There’s going to be at least one contestant of the 111 we didn’t see that will make the Top 12. In fact, there might be more. I can’t sit here and feel confident about putting 12 guys I’ve already seen audition knowing more than half the guys haven’t received a second of airtime. Plus, even with the 11 I’ve chosen that’s way, way too many white dudes to put on the show. There needs to be an R&B guy, preferably one who goes a deuce and a half that just belts out pure soul and will sing Peabo Bryson at some point this year.
Lots of tough cuts for me, the toughest being Elvie Shane, someone I think can do really well on the show. I liked Lee Jean’s potential but I just think he’s too young and Ethan Kuntz is really, really good, but I don’t think the show is a good fit for him and the producers know it. There is one other guy I thought was a lock for the Top 5 that I was told didn’t make it, so that bummed me out, and another auditioner sent me a message to let me know he didn’t get it and that sucked too.
This list will get updated as we go on. Best part about these predictions is the more there are, the more I can make so it makes it all but impossible for me not to get something right.
PS We could see Sal Valentinetti from last year. LOVED that dude. He’s back. Shhhh.